Lately I’ve been more aware of the seasons here. It could be because where I’m from, Northern BC, you basically have winter from October-April/May and then a brief spring, a short summer, a brief fall and then 6 months of winter. You really don’t see much of spring or fall, or even summer, depending on who you ask! The spring+fall are just really short periods!
Where we are now, SE Montana, you get a hot+dry summer from May/June-August/September, a longer lasting fall, and winter if you’re lucky and lots of spring!
Depending on the year, it seems as though the last 2 years I’ve been here, we will get snow, a cold week, and then it’ll warm up, it’ll melt, it’ll be mucky out for a week and then it’ll be cold again. When this happens, I get spring fever, garden anxious in February. Ugh!
It could also be because i’m ‘more in touch’ with nature and the seasons here, as corny as that sounds. But our lives, my life, our life, revolves around the seasons.
January: often, sometimes cold, the last month before calving starts.
February: I start my peppers, and tomatoes, and therefore they’re under my watch until well until freeze up I guess.
Calving starts which means I make frequent visits to the newest calves, watch calving cows, or sometimes check calving cows. My husband is obviously more involved with calving..the catching+weighing+tagging of the calves, helping cows calve, etc.
March: still calving, still watering my seedlings. And hopefully not needing to transplant them as I have limited room and for Some reason my husband doesn’t like our window sills filled with trays of seedlings…
April: things start picking up in April! I get baby chicks in the spring sometime, and of course you can’t walk by the chicks without holding one and checking them! The garden is stalked daily for new bulbs coming up and new growth. This is the only time if the year I enjoy seeing weeds…weeds in April=almost garden season!
I believe last year I planted all my onion towards the end of April and some cool temp plants as well. And that of course means that my garden was tilled up and lots of time spent out there dreaming+planning!
May: busiest month. Garden ALL goes in, cows+heifers get AI’d. (artificially inseminated). Basically 3 days (I think that many!?) spent getting the cows cycles all in sync, and then a week later they’re bred. And then you repeat the same process for the heifers. And then branding happens in there too.
June: just garden! Enjoying the last of the cooler temps, before it gets to 90F(30C) at the coolest for the majority of the summer. Enjoying any rain, if lucky, since rain in July+August is practically non existent down here.
Of course the farming starts at the end of June but we don’t do that for the most part. I do spend time taking my father in law to the tractor or bringing him back to the house!
The cows are sent to summer pasture. Jed helps haul them, and sometimes I go help keep him company!
July: the heat. the garden flourishes and is at it’s peak, in my opinion. We usually take a couple weeks to go up back home.
August: garden is really producing at this point, flowers are in full bloom and the temperature is just too hot. I usually start some canning in August. Peaches, tomatoes, salsas, etc
September: the welcoming of the cooler temperatures in the morning and evening is just so loving. The garden is well neglected at this point. Igave up watering probably back in August! September makes me want cool days so I can can up all the tomatoes, bring in the potatoes, corn is dealt with, and freeze the other veggies. It’s also almost the start of my pasture walks with a trio of dogs. We don’t go in the summer simply because its too hot and there are snakes out.
October: the end of the garden season. All produce is brought in, preserved or somehow stored for the winter. If you’re efficient and gung ho, you pull your garden out. That is not me. My garden currently looks like a graveyard for flowers and plants. But I know that come spring, or all the warm days we often get in the middle of the winter, I know i’ll be wanting to do Something productive outside so my garden will get some love from me.
The cows+calves are brought back, calves are weaned, and freeze branded at some point too.
November: come September/October/November, I’m Really enjoying the break from my garden. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE gardening and the whole process of it all, but the break is sure welcomed. I don’ have to worry about watering everyday and weeding and picking harvest on time. I can just relax and sew! November I also get anxious and impatient for snow and wonder where on earth that snow is. Except I usually know; it’s all back up north at my parents.
December: December is another quiet month. I usually am keeping busy sewing and in the kitchen, cleaning, purging, and catching up on the cleaning that got neglected over the garden months.
We don’t full time ranch, we just live on the family ranch and help as needed. Therefore we aren’t the ones who do the majority of the haying, or fixing machinery etc etc! Just cow work and help as needed, when needed!